England decision to re-paint pitch markings helped Ireland win the Grand Slam 1 year ago

England decision to re-paint pitch markings helped Ireland win the Grand Slam


On Friday night, it was reported that the RFU were going to paint the Twickenham pitch markings blue. With the Met Office issuing an amber weather warning with an 80% chance of snow, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable decision.

With a strong, icy wind, the temperature was always going to plummet but Jacob Stockdale and the lads in green certainly did their best to set fire to London with some scintillating rugby.

Stockdale scored a decisive third try right on the stroke of half-time, chipping the ball over Mike Brown, haring past him and surging towards the try line. The ball took a bounce off Stockdale's knee but the Munster wing got to the ball and touched down right at the back of the goal area.

It was close, but it was definitely a try and, when Johnny Sexton duly converted, it gave Ireland a comfortable 21-5 lead heading into half-time, the boys in green practically skipping down the tunnel after a perfectly-timed jolt of momentum.

Stockdale's try was his seventh in this Six Nations championship, making him a record-breaker.

But wait, it gets better. The RFU's decision to paint blue lines actually meant that Stockdale's try could stand. As you can see below, the old line was a little further in. Had the lines not been touched, Stockdale wouldn't have got there in time.

We'll happily take that, thank you very much.

It was great to see Stockdale on the scoresheet but this just makes it even sweeter. Had Stockdale not scored that try, the second half may have seen the pendulum swing in England's favour.

Luckily for Ireland, though, Stockdale is remarkably clinical.